The Dickensian themed advert focuses on the humble beginnings of a young boy called Nicholas 150 years ago.
The supermarket chain said: ‘Depicting a Dickensian London, the story opens around the first ever Sainsbury’s store back in 1869. Here John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury showcase their finest produce, showing overflowing tables of apples, eggs and bread. A sack of clementines catches the eyes of shoppers and a young group of chimney sweeps, including the star of the story, a young orphan called Nick.
‘Unfortunately, he is wrongly accused of stealing a clementine that’s fallen off the table and his evil workmaster convinces the surrounding crowd that Nick is a thief and has him banished from the city. Luckily for Nick, Mary Ann Sainsbury has watched the whole event and realises Nick has been set up. Later we see the orphan banished in the cold, when he is woken from his nightmares and rescued by Mary Ann, who gives him his very own sack of clementines. When Nick exclaims that he can’t pay for the gift, Mary Ann smiles, saying: “If you can’t do something special for someone at Christmas, then when can you?”
Before he rides off into the snowy sunset, Nick conducts one last act of kindness and secretly drops clementines into the socks of his chimney sweep friends. Dressed in a red coat and putting his hat on, the advert ends with Nick walking away knowing he has brought a touch of Christmas magic to the local children.’
The advert forms part of the brand’s 150th birthday celebrations, with the theme ‘Helping make Christmas, Christmas since 1869’ sitting at the heart of the Sainsbury’s marketing campaign. Additional food and drink TV, radio, print, digital and social media advertising is planned around the same message.
Laura Boothby, head of broadcast marketing at Sainsbury’s, said: “It’s been a special year for Sainsbury’s and we felt it was fitting for our Christmas advert to look back and celebrate the role we’ve played in making Christmas Christmas for the nation for the past 150 years. We’ve always helped to bring a bit of sparkle to everyone’s Christmas, be it through the delicious turkey, brussel sprouts or even exotic clementines!”